More unrelated thoughts presented in itemized list format
- I was watching "60 Minutes" with the extended family and there was a story on Google. During the story, Leslie Stahl does a little demo of "Google SMS". The Fam was quite delighted -- they immediately began experimenting with their own cell phones and squealing in delight when they received their results. Anyways, the few family members (including myself) who are, for lack of a better term, "computer oriented," were shocked by everyone's ignorance -- google sms is old news as far as we're concerned. Now my family isn't exactly stupid (if level of education is an accurate measure), so our incredulity just goes to show how specialization blinds us to the outside world and fosters arrogance about the importance of our own field. Case in point, later that weekend I guessed that humans have 26 pairs of chromosomes. Damn, I'm getting stupider. Anyways, check out Google Labs and this previous post if you're smart enough to not spend >40% of your life in front of a computer.
- Just watched two interesting movies: The Gods Must Be Crazy and Tadpole. Both were not what was expected and require a bit (maybe a lot) of tongue biting ("oh! come on!"), but were certainly worth watching; especially after a few weeks of watching nothing but generic Hollywood movies.
- For some reason, our router at home (Southern California) refused to connect to the MIT domain (18.*) so I was unable to see http://web.mit.edu/, check my e-mail, access my web-locker, etc. It turned out to be the perfect incentive to give Tor a real test-drive. Tor is a web-anonymizer that allows you use the internet with (reasonable) anonymity -- in doing so, it accesses the internet through a variety of other computers which comes in handy when surfing the internet from behind an unintentional, or deliberate, firewall. To the point, it allowed me to bypass my web-restriction problem with moderate ease. Hot stuff.
Tor recently received backing from the Electronic Frontier Foundation which is just another reason (in a long list of reasons) why the EFF kicks ass.
- Wired Magazine has a beautiful story on the history, impacts, and implications of everyone's new favorite p2p program, BitTorrent.